“There are two universities here and 40,000 students between them. In a city as small as Newcastle, that’s enough to make quite an impact,” says my guide, Jan.

Indeed. I’ve barely left the hostel when I spy one drunk mini-skirted lass fall down like a sack of potatoes. Minutes later, a voluptuous ‘hen’, a tequila shot away from collapsing, wraps herself around an obliging bouncer.

But to dismiss Newcastle’s nightlife as a collection of sticky-floored haunts, awash with blue WKD, is to underestimate it completely. Classy establishments and hipster hangouts are cropping up faster than greased lightning. Here’s our pick
of the best, so you can get sozzled on the cutting-edge.

17 Westgate Road

Shoot up to the roof terrace on a summer’s night, with mojito in hand, and enjoy the chill-out tunes piping overhead. A worn-brick wall inset with candles and fairy lights lends
a sophisticated glow.

See:  tokyonewcastle.co.uk
Class rating: 4/5

Popolo Bar,
82-84 Pilgrim Street 

The hip and the hungry come here to knock back cocktails and nibbles, while soaking up its trendy ambience. This city centre bar has a loyal following of artists and musicians,
who enjoy the venue’s faux-industrial, gritty setting. The
food here is on the posh side – think upmarket pizza and classy pasta dishes – and the cocktails have names like Gin Laden and Freaky Tiki.

See:  popolo.co.uk
Class rating: 3/5

No. 1 Grey Street,
1 Grey Street

Grandiose on so many levels, this venue feel like a film set of a Hollywood epic. It’s also frequented by the odd footballer and there’s great people-watching to be had. Expect to hear the latest music echoing around the bar.

Class rating: 4/5

Barluga, 35 Grey Street

Fancy yourself a smattering of caviar and champagne to wash it down? This is your spot – a hangout for the beautiful.  Join them in sipping on fine wines, daahling.

See:  barluga.co.uk
Class rating: 5/5

Neville Street

New to the Central Station scene, this nightspot captures the stylings of 19th-century Paris. Think Moulin Rouge and the French capital as Renior knew it. Get your va va voom on
and check out the fancy red staircase.

See:  jalou.co.uk
Class rating: 3/5

20 Collingwood Street

This is the place for a little stylish fun on the ‘Diamond Strip’. Chic and sophisticated, it’s a popular haunt for fashionistas and students, who drape themselves over the plush decor – think crushed velvet, snakeskin and black glass panels.
The cocktails seem to be having a bit of an identity crisis – do you fancy the Great Gatsby or the Rhinestone Cowgirl? Whatever your choice, get stuck in.

See:  perdubar.com
Class rating: 4/5

The Cut,
7 St Nicholas Street 

This ‘deconstructed musik space’ models itself on Berlin squat parties and plays everything from dubstep to drum ‘n’ bass. We recommend a trendy haircut before attempting to get in.

See:  whatisthecut.com  
Class rating: 4/5

The morning after

Check out some street theatre in Grainger Town. Not as much fun as the performances of punters on Newcastle’s streets on any given weekend, but that is the stuff that money simply can’t buy.

Next page: Newcaste – Eat, drink, sleep

Eat, drink, sleep 

Visit SIX, the rooftop restaurant at BALTIC, an imposing centre of contemporary art across the River Tyne. Dine on the likes of prosciutto-wrapped pheasant and take in the view of Newcastle’s seven bridges. (balticmill.com)

No visit to Newcastle is complete without visiting Oseburn Valley and The Cluny, tucked awkwardly under Biker Bridge. This pub and live music venue simply rocks. (thecluny.com)

For a modern, stylish hotel located next to Newcastle Central Station, stay at Sleeperz Hotel from £58.50 for a double room. (sleeperz.com)

Just off the lovely Quayside area, Marco Polo dishes up imaginative Italian food. (marcopolonewcastle.com)

Enter a bohemian world of mystical escapism, Eastern finery and exorbitant luxury at Tup Tup Palace. Complete with flame wall and waterfalls, obviously. (tuptuppalace.com)

The Euro Hostel provides
a fun and comfortable place to rest your head. Rooms have en suites and the Ware Rooms Restaurant & Bar is a huge area that really gets pumping. From £16pn. (euro-hostels.co.uk)